The “withdrawal method”, or as it’s colloquially referred to, the “pull and pray” method, has been practiced for millennia, yet many still misunderstand its effectiveness in preventing pregnancies. Let’s break down the details for you.
According to Dr. John Guillebaud, author of “Contraception: Your Questions Answered”, populations, where the withdrawal method is prominently used, have often reported low birth rates. However, despite its historical use, this technique saw a decline in preference with the advent of modern contraceptives.
A study conducted in 2008 by New York’s Guttmacher Institute paints an illuminating picture: when executed correctly, the withdrawal method has a 96% efficiency rate in preventing pregnancies. In comparison, oral contraceptives show a “perfect use” efficacy of 99.7%, and condoms stand at 98%.
But How Do These Methods Measure Up in Real-world Scenarios?
The difference between the effectiveness of condoms and the withdrawal method is a mere 1%. While the pill has an “actual use” success rate of approximately 96%.
So, what accounts for the withdrawal method’s high efficiency? Recent scientific studies highlight that pre-ejaculate rarely contains sperm. On the off chance it does, the sperm are often non-viable. This is because the Cowper’s gland, responsible for producing pre-ejaculate, doesn’t produce sperm. Sperm can only be present in the urethra due to a prior ejaculation. Therefore, if a man has urinated post-ejaculation or a significant amount of time has passed, the withdrawal method can be a reliable contraceptive option.
The failure rate with condoms usually stems from instances like breakage. Contrarily, the withdrawal method’s success hinges significantly on the male partner’s ability to “pull out” in time, making its “perfect use” success rate potentially more achievable.
Some additional insights:
- Worldwide, a mere 3% of couples exclusively rely on the withdrawal method. Yet, a staggering 52% of women claim to have used it at some point, with 21% having used it in the past month.
- Historical records indicate the withdrawal method was the primary contraceptive before the Roman Empire. While the Romans opted for more sophisticated methods, the decline of their empire saw a resurgence in the method’s use, especially with Christianity’s stance against contraceptives. It wasn’t until the modern innovations of the 20th century that the method faced competition.
- The earliest reference to the withdrawal method can be traced back to the Torah’s account of Onan, a narrative likely written between 2500 and 1500 BCE.
For a more comprehensive understanding or any other related queries, Isabella Van Der Merve provides a wealth of information on our contact page.